Action Breaks Silence

Actionbreakssilence new Logo.

Launched To Empower Women and Girls in India through Personal Safety and Self-defence Workshops

Founded in 2013 by Debi Steven, Action Breaks Silence, a not-for-profit company, works primarily with underprivileged girls and women to teach them awareness and practical skills to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime. Physical self-defence skills are taught in realistic scenarios, providing the women and girls with both useful techniques and a sense of empowerment.

Surveys have shown that:

  • A woman is subjected to Eve Teasing* every 5 minutes (*the public sexual harassment or molestation of women by men)
  • A rape is reported in India every 21 minutes
  • A woman is molested every 26 minutes
  • A woman is kidnapped every 43 minutes
  • A woman is killed in a dowry death every 103 minutes
  • In 93% of rapes in India, the victim knows the offender
  • Only 26% of rape cases that go to court end with a conviction.

A team of men and women from Action Breaks Silence travelled to India in July 2013 conducting workshops over a month during which time they trained over 1,000 women and teenage girls.  This included teaching the members of The Red Brigade, a vigilance group formed by founder Usha Vishwakarma and comprising survivors of sexual violence and rape.  The Red Brigade patrols the streets and markets of the state of Uttar Pradesh to identify men who are harassing women and, if necessary, intervene.  Debi Steven regularly trains members from the Red Brigade and has some members from the Red Brigade on the Action Breaks Silence instructors training video.

Action Breaks Silence will be returning to Kerala in January and Delhi and Lucknow in April in order to continue to conduct workshops and train new instructors, with the ultimate aim of providing employment to local affiliated instructors who can continue Debi Steven’s teaching when she is unable to be in India.  The personal safety and self-defence workshops are provided free of charge and are open to any women and teenage girls concerned about their welfare or safety.

Debi Steven commented, “Violence against women and girls in India – in all its shapes and forms – has become so acute and so prevalent that it has effectively become a gender or sexual-based war.  It wasn’t until the horrendous gang-rape and murder on a bus in Delhi in December last year, however, that the situation was brought to the world’s attention.

“I couldn’t stand idly by. By offering my workshops, free, I hope to give life-changing options to underprivileged women and girls and provide help and hope wherever we are asked to teach.”

If you can make a donation, however small, this will make a huge difference to her ability to deliver these much needed workshops.  And, even if you can’t make a donation, you can make a huge difference by telling all your friends, family and colleagues about Action Breaks Silence by sharing this news on Facebook and Twitter. By supporting Action Breaks Silence in any way, you will not only be supporting and helping women in India but also taking an important step towards opposing VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN anywhere in the world.

With our thanks in advance for any support you can give Action Breaks Silence – and, more importantly, women and girls in India.

Please visit the Action Breaks Silence website – www.actionbreakssilence.org

Watch an excerpt from Jenny Gering’s forthcoming documentary on Debi Steven’s work in India http://www.jeannygering.com/film/